Friday 19 Feb 2021
Emergency tree felling at Cwmbran Park over safety concerns
- Region & Route:
- Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
Network Rail and Torfaen Council are working together to remove dangerous trees in Cwmbran Park that pose an immediate risk to rail passengers and the public.
Many of the trees are decayed and leaning dangerously towards the railway line so their immediate removal is vital to keep the area safe.
The Council will be removing 600 metres of trees that follow the line of the railway adjacent to Cwmbran Boating Lake and park.
The council is planning to plant suitable native species of trees to replace those felled - improving biodiversity and the local environment.
Some areas of the boating lake will need to be closed while work is taking place, and as some of the work is taking place at night, when trains are not running, there is likely to be some disturbance to residents living nearby.
Specialist tree cutting equipment will be used to fell the trees with large excavators removing the roots. Once felled, the trees will be temporarily stacked on site before the wood is chipped and recycled.
Network Rail will have their own supervisors on site to safeguard the railway line.
A spokesperson at Network Rail said:
“The decision to fell this particular group of trees at Cwmbran Boating Lake has not been taken lightly - a recent survey shows these conifers have become very decayed, unbalanced and heavily weighted towards the railway line.
“In bad weather, this could result in the trees being blown onto the track, causing a major hazard and preventing trains from passing safely. These trees need to be removed as a matter of urgency and we will do this as quickly as possible while minimising disruption by felling at night.”
Torfaen Councillor Mandy Owen, executive member for the environment, said:
"Unfortunately these mature trees need felling due to the risk they present to the railway line.
“We are preparing a plan for replanting so that native species can establish themselves over time. We do appreciate that this is going to cause disruption and at times the park and car park will be closed and ask that people respect this as the closures are to ensure safety.
Notes to Editors
When will tree felling take place?
Tree felling will take place:
- Sunday 28th February 2021 between the hours of 12.01am and 8.45am
- Sunday 7th March 2021 between the hours of 12.01am and 8.45am
Between Monday and Friday after each section of felling is completed, the felled timber will be chipped and taken away for recycling. This activity will take place during the day to avoid additional disturbance.
As large vehicles will be moving around the worksite, areas of the Boating Lake will need to be temporarily closed to the public.
When will the Boating Lake be closed to the public?
Monday 1st March – Sunday 6th March
The areas north of the Boat House including the play area, but excluding the Boat House will be closed
Sunday 7th March
The whole area will be open to the public, but visitors will see a considerable amount of wood stacked in areas ready for chipping and recycling.
Monday 8th March – Friday 12th March
The whole of the Boating Lake including the play area will be closed
The council is also looking into options to create the best noise and visual barriers. In terms of physical barriers, Network Rail will be erecting temporary fencing between the Boating Lake and the railway line as the work progresses, and will erect a permanent fence after the works has been completed
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